69% of businesses in Hauts-de-France have closed

69% of businesses in Hauts-de-France have closed

Since the beginning of the spread of Covid-19, the Oise has been considered one of the main “clusters” in France and the department most affected, largely, in Hauts-de-France. In the region, moreover, many companies find it difficult to amortize their activity during the crisis, as revealed by a study published by the Hauts-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Of the 22,000 companies contacted, 3,104 responded to the CCI survey. It turns out that 69% of them are now closed, “because they are forced to do so or because they made the decision to close”. Among them, 60% have completely stopped their activity.

In total, “99% are affected” on a more or less large scale by the consequences of confinement, said CCI President Hauts-de-France Philippe Hourdain to ‘France Bleu’, adding that all sectors of activity are affected.

The hotel and catering sector suffers the most

But the hotel and catering sector is the sector that suffers the most: 88% of businesses are closed and the sector has lost 51% in turnover since January 2020. Services to individuals (-51% compared to January ), retail trade (-48%) and construction (-33%) are not spared either.

The average drop in turnover is 44% in Hauts-de-France. “No one is spared,” insisted Philippe Hourdain, referring to a crisis of “unprecedented violence”.

Disparities between geographic areas have also been noted. Companies in Greater Lille notably lost around 42% of their turnover, slightly less than on the Hauts-de-France coast (-47% compared to January).

Towards mass layoffs?

To date 7% of business leaders in Hauts-de-France say they will have to fire, according to the study. This figure rises to 58% if the confinement were to be extended. To this must be added the fear of bankruptcy, while 65% of business leaders fear being forced to do so if the pandemic worsens.

For the moment, 82% of companies have put their employees into partial unemployment. Unsurprisingly, the sectors most affected by partial activity are once again hotels, cafes and restaurants (98%), construction and public works (95%), logistics transport (90%) and retail trade (86% ), clarified the CCI.

© Reuters


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